Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It’s funny when people know what you do how the conversation trends towards that topic. One of my dear friends mother has been in the hospital for over a month with kidney failure and infection. Tammy has been the epitome of advocacy. She called me one afternoon to share the trials she was going through.  Pouring her heart out to release the pain of watching her mother suffer.  Before she got off the phone she said “Make sure to tell your friend – the boss here – how great our experience has been – how great these nurses are in making sure we are taken care of every time we need something.” My friend, Damond Boatwright, the CEO of Lee’s Summit Medical Center has done a great job of cultivating a culture of caring staff.

I began to think about that statement “making sure we are taken care of every time we need something.” I know that hospital – I know the technology, the staff, the design, the process, and how they manage their care. Managing by metrics is only part of the equation – the other half is care.

I had a great post written for you all – about metrics and managing by numbers and pushing for results. It was insightful and interesting with recent data from a new hospital.  Exploring Dynamic vs Intuitive responses based on the “need type” and weighting averages. Numbers and the quantification of expectations – it was brilliant……..but listening to Tammy reminds me - it's only part of the solution....have you been reminded today?  If you haven't had a recent hospital encounter - technologist, you need one.  Don't let the math cloud the reality of what we all do.  Don't let the flashy exciting technology be the cetner of your universe.  Don't let competition between bitter rivals reduce the ability for the patient to have the win.  I want to win as bad as the next guy - but I don't want to win at the expense of the patient.

Maybe some of the best things I post have nothing to do with fancy math (or as Steve says "Algorithms")  but have everything to do with the human condition – the patient as a person – the clinician as a giver.

Who would think a geek could feel?

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Kourtney Govro